Workplace exposure to benzene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Roundup (glyphosate), and other toxic chemicals has been associated with higher rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. More than 70,000 Americans are diagnosed with this life-threatening blood cancer every year, and many cases are caused by toxic chemicals in the workplace.
Do I Have a Texas Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma caused by toxic chemicals, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
What is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (also known as “NHL” or simply “lymphoma”) is a type of blood cancer. It occurs in white blood cells (lymphocytes) which are part of the body’s immune system. In 2013, experts estimate that 70,000 Americans will be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and about 20,000 people will die from this disease. Lymphoma can begin in almost any area of the body, because lymphocytes circulate throughout the entire body. Usually, it first occurs in a lymph node, which is a mass of tissue that stores lymphocytes and performs other immune system functions.
- What causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
- What are the symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?
- How is non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma treated?
Roundup and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Roundup (glyphosate) is a weed-killer that has been on the market since the 1970s. In the 1990s, Monsanto genetically-engineered “Roundup Ready” crops, which allowed farmers to spray it over entire fields. Today, Roundup is sprayed on nearly every acre of corn, soybeans, and cotton. It is also used in countless orchards, parks, sidewalks, playgrounds, and yards.
In March 2015, Roundup was declared a “probable human carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the World Health Organization (WHO). Experts cited numerous studies linking Roundup and cancer in rodents. In humans, several studies have found genotoxic effects and higher rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Since 2001, three major studies have found higher rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in farmworkers who were exposed to Roundup. These studies include:
- International Journal of Cancer (October 2008): Swedish study found that men who were exposed to Roundup were at least twice as likely to be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Occupational and Environmental Medicine (September 2003): Roundup exposure was linked to a 60% increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in pooled data from three large studies of farmworkers the midwestern United States.
- Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers (November 2001): Canadian study found a dose-response relationship between Roundup and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, suggesting that more exposure could increase the risk of this cancer.
Breast Implants and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Breast implants have been linked to over 350 reports of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including 9 deaths, as of February 1, 2017. The FDA issued a Safety Update and warned that implants with a textured surface have the highest risk of cancer. The type of cancer is ALK-negative Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma (ALCL), one of the most dangerous forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The symptoms of lymphoma in the breast may include pain, lumps, swelling, or asymmetry of the breast. Most women are diagnosed when fluid builds up around the implant (called a seroma) and a doctor tests the fluid and finds cancerous cells. ALCL is treated by surgically removing the implant and the scar-tissue capsule around the implant. Women may also need chemotherapy.
PCBs and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): “there is clear evidence that Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) cause cancer in animals” and they are “probable human carcinogens.” Several studies of workers exposed to PCBs have found increases in rare liver cancers and malignant melanomas. The EPA has also specifically warned about the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma:
“Since PCBs suppress the immune system and immune system suppression has been demonstrated as a risk factor for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, suppression of the immune system is a possible mechanism for PCB-induced cancer.”
Unfortunately, nearly every person alive has some level of PCBs in their body. These chemicals can be passed from mother to infant through breast-feeding, and they can also be ingested in animal products like fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and meat. Once inside your body, PCBs may not break down for decades, and they can build up over time. PCBs were created by Monsanto in the early 1930s, and they were not banned until 1979.
Products and materials created before 1979 that may contain PCBs include:
- Transformers and capacitors
- Electrical equipment
- Oil-based paint
- Oil used in motors and hydraulic equipment
- Cable insulation
- Thermal insulation (fiberglass, felt, foam, cork)
- Adhesives and tapes
- Carbonless copy paper
- Floor finishes
- Fluorescent light ballasts
Benzene and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Exposure to benzene, a highly-flammable chemical and a component of gasoline, has been associated with lymphoma and may increase the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
According to a study published in 2007 by the American Association of Cancer Research, 93% of 43 studies showed some elevated risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma associated with workplace exposure to benzene, and 53% found statistically significant associations. Furthermore, 23 out of 26 studies (88%) of petroleum refinery workers found higher rates of death from lymphoma than other cancers.
Workers in industries that make or use benzene may be exposed to high levels of this chemical. According to the National Cancer Institute, sources of exposure include:
- Rubber industry
- Oil refineries
- Chemical plants
- Shoe manufacturers
- Gasoline industries
- Lubricant manufacturing
- Steel workers
- Lab technicians
- Cigarettes smoking and second-hand smoke
Dicamba and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
The weed-killing chemical dicamba has been shown to double a farmer’s risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in a study by the National Cancer Institute in 1992. Dicamba exposure has also been linked to higher rates of lung cancer, colon cancer, and other sever side effects, although it is classified by the EPA as “not likely to cause cancer in humans.”
Do I have a Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Lawsuit in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
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